Can you help Leeds Teaching Hospitals become the best place for Patient Care?
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is looking for University staff with a passion for making things better to become Leeds Hospital Quality Improvement (QI) Partners. They are seeking volunteers to join their team, working alongside nurses, healthcare professionals, and doctors, to champion the needs of patients and improve their care.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals – which operates seven hospitals in the city – are offering the opportunity to be truly involved in their work in three areas; Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, and Leeds Improvement Method (LIM).
The Partner roles are unique in that you will be involved at the heart of decision making. They give the NHS the opportunity to tap into a vast wealth of personal and professional skills, and experiences of people from Leeds and beyond. To be a partner, you do not need to have been a patient at a Leeds hospital – they are looking for people with empathy who can put themselves in patients’ shoes and represent their interests.
The role contributes to sustainable development by providing high-quality care to Leeds residents and improves public health. It would suit anyone looking to develop their knowledge and experience of the NHS, gain quality improvement skills, or develop their experience of providing constructive feedback and creative contributions in a professional setting.
Working with award-winning Quality Improvement (QI) teams, you will give a few hours per month and use your own experiences and expertise to provide a fresh perspective to Leeds Teaching Hospitals Work, offering suggestions for how they can tackle a variety of challenges and develop new and better approaches to delivering hospital services.
In return, you will be given nationally recognised training and support to develop your confidence in working with multi-disciplinary teams, understanding and interpreting complex data, and participating in professional meetings.
Anyone can apply to be a QI Partner – it is an ideal opportunity for anyone looking to develop their skills in quality improvement, multi-disciplinary team working and interpreting complex information.
Please note the closing date for all applications is 5pm, Friday 30th October
Welcome and training workshops have been scheduled for:
16th November 1-3,
23rd November 1-3,
4th December 1-4
And, 7th December 1-3
Following training, there will be a 1:1 discussion to give successful applicants the chance to ask any additional questions about the opportunities and make their decision on where their interests lie.
You may have spotted some new disposable cup recycling bins on campus this autumn.
These new bins are from Forge Recyclingand are designed to make it as easy as possible to recycle single-use disposable cups used for hot drinks with separate sections for the lids, the cup and any left over fluid.
As it is widely known, single-use cups are very difficult to recycle. This is due to their inner plastic lining, which is bonded to the paper outer, making it hard to separate the two materials. At the University this has previously resulted in disposable cups going into our general waste bins and then being sent for energy recovery through incineration rather than recycling. Although this route provides energy it means that the materials are not reused and additional raw materials are then needed to make new cups.
Working with local waste company, Forge Recycling, the new recycling bins mean that the single-use cups will be sent to one of the few sites in the UK that are able to recycle the cups. The cups are broken down and the bonded plastic insert is removed from the paper outer. The segregated plastic is then sent for recycling while the broken down paper can be made into new paper products. This short video explains the process:
The new bins have initially been installed at selected Great Food at Leeds cafes across campus. We will also be rolling out additional bins at key locations across campus in the next few weeks.
At the University we strive to reuse as much as possible rather than recycling and are pleased that reusable cups are now being accepted in all GFAL outlets once again. The process is slightly different to ensure the safety of our staff and students, please follow the instructions of our staff closely to ensure that the touch points are reduced.
Great Food at Leeds has successfully ran a reusable cup campaign for a number of years no; providing the sale of Keep Cups at cost price as well as providing a 20p discount for any customers purchasing a hot drink with their reusable cup.
To find out more about how we recycle at the University please visit our recycling webpage.
Hi my name is Beth and i’m one of the Pollinator Ambassadors. This blog explains how I got into the role and what it actually involves.
Going into my second year I knew I wanted to engage more in university life. I also knew I wanted to apply for placements and needed more relevant sustainability experience. I can’t fully remember how I came across the role, I think it was advertised somewhere and I dropped Jen Dyer (An academic) an email, who explained that it was a campus living lab project with lots of different departments at the University working on it, but led by student ambassadors. She gave me Holly Smith’s details who is one of the Pollinator Ambassadors, and my involvement in the program began.
I still didn’t fully understand what the project was or my role, but I was excited to see where it would lead me. My first contribution to the project was walking the three transects across campus. I forced my friends to come out with me to count bees and other pollinators. I found it quite a relaxing process gradually sweeping left to right looking out for anything flying about. The instructions to do the transects and FIT (Flower-Insect Timed) counts (a simple survey method used to collect data on the visitors and abundance of pollinators to target flower species) were easy to follow. As it was autumn when I started, all the days I was free seemed to be filled with rain and high winds, which are unsuitable days for counting pollinators. I was disheartened that my involvement would be limited to a month and I would have to wait until the following spring to be involved again.
I sent over the data to Holly along with an ambiguous message stating I would love to be more involved in the project if there is anything I could contribute to. To my surprise Holly replied stating I could get involved in the production of an abstract to present the data as a potential journal article.
Following this, I met with the other ambassadors, Holly, Caitlin and Karolina and we discussed putting forward the project to be presented at the Student Sustainability Research Conference. Although, I have no experience with scientific posters I took the leap and said I was happy to try my luck at producing the poster for the conference. Karolina wrote the abstract and Caitlin and Holly presented at the conference. My team members helped me a lot when producing the poster and when I saw it in the Parkinson Building I was extremely proud of what I had produced. Later that day to my confusion I received a message saying we had won, I didn’t realise it was a competition. We did it! We won the best poster award providing us with the opportunity to present our work at the Student Sustainability Conference being held in Switzerland.
I know it seems cheesy, but I was honestly over the moon I entered the project as a volunteer not sure what was going happen then being encouraged by my team to do a poster which then won!
The project has given me a lot of confidence in my ability to try and succeed in new things. I started out not having a clue what I was entering. As the project grows the opportunities I have been involved with are growing as well. Since the conference we won best collaboration award at the universities annual sustainability awards, and we are expanding the project to include bats and working towards a bronze hedgehog friendly campus award.
For all those reading this considering trying new things I would say just go for it as it often will give you a greater return then you were expecting. A bonus is it gave me something to talk about in my placement interview which is a huge help. Engaging in activities outside of your degree helps to show you as a more well-rounded person.
If you’re interested in biodiversity and sustainability then you should consider getting involved. You’ll gain ecological surveying experience by helping us record wildlife (including pollinators, foxes, hedgehogs, bats, birds and more!) as well as attending guided walks and meeting lots of like-minded people along the way.
Get involved by contacting us on; firstname.lastname@example.org. We also work with the Conservation Volunteers and EnviroSoc Society, so there will be some opportunities for involvement within those societies. We look forward to hearing from you!
Graduating from Leeds with a degree in Sustainability was a bit daunting. Any student graduating from University feels a bit lost when applying for jobs, trying to find one that will enable you make the impact you want in the world and that will use all the skills you’ve developed throughout your studying. But I was lucky enough to find both purpose and challenge over the past 11 months as a Sustainability Intern at the University’s Sustainability Service.
My role within the service has been so varied, allowing me to explore a huge breadth of sustainability in action. Throughout my degree, learning about climate change, circular economy, social justice, environmental politics and so much more, I began to feel more and more eager to have a practical impact on these elements of a sustainable future.
Through my role, I was able to support the University’s Climate Plan, embed sustainability across the University through our Blueprint programme, celebrate sustainability successes at the University and beyond through organising the Sustainability Awards, support connections with the community with the PIP programme and be involved in the University’s travel work, such as our emission reporting and work towards a sustainable return to campus. All this gave me a brilliant insight to a huge range of work streams within Sustainability.
My role working alongside colleagues surrounding the University’s travel was particularly interesting and enjoyable for me. Having an insight into the data collection for emissions reporting and being able to work in a small group to tackle problems was extremely rewarding. Similarly, I was able to take the time to up skill myself in using Arc GIS Pro, a software I was keen to learn more about, in order to support the return to campus work as part of the active travel working group. All the elements of the travel project work challenged me to expand my data management skills, stay up to date with national and regional travel updates and to learn a lot about good teamwork!
The Sustainability Service were bold enough to put a lot of trust in Hatty and myself, giving us the space to explore interesting topics, make suggestions and generally get stuck in. I was fortunate to have been able to perform a review of the Blueprint programme, talking to people in sustainability and beyond to gain their insights. With fantastic support from the team, I was able to suggest some improvements and deliver training sessions on these changes. Having this chance to explore how a project is run and be critical to make improvements was a brilliant opportunity and I am grateful to the Service for putting that trust in me.
One of the most valuable things this role has given me has been an insight into the amazing work done by people at the University at every level, both in academic and operational areas, and seeing what can happen when they can be enabled to work together, such as through living lab projects. It is so motivating to know that the University is home to people who work their socks off every day to try and make the University and the world a more equal and sustainable place. I know that whatever career I pursue in the future, that I will remember the wonderful people within the Sustainability Service and everything they have helped me learn.
My name is Hatty and I have been one of the Sustainability Interns this year for the Sustainability Service.
I initially applied for the role because I wanted to gain a diverse experience and understanding of what it could mean within the incredibly broadly-termed ‘sustainability’ sector. I can definitely say I got a taste of this!
Coming to sustainability with a greater interest and experience of the social, rather than environmental side, of sustainability, I both enhanced and furthered my interest in this area, and pushed myself to explore more of the areas which were often confusing – and slightly scary – to my non-science-y brain. Throughout my role, I have worked heavily on the #2023PlasticFree campaign, student citizenship programme, co-organising this years digital (suprise!) sustainability awardswith Kate, and assisting in the coordination of the University’s submission for the 2020 Times Higher Education Impact Awards. Myself and Kate have also done a lot of work in enhancing the use of social media to better engage with students.
This year has hugely broadened my understanding of both sustainability – crucially, encompassing both environmental and social elements – and ways of working towards sustainable solutions in such a huge organisation. The diverse range of work I was able to help assist with over the course of the year highlighted to me the need to look holistically at the ways in which we create sustainable change in an educational setting, be that through research, operations, teaching, or leadership – all are equally vital. My role offered me the chance to look at all these areas, for example through how we combine the exciting ongoing research into plastic reduction and alternatives with how this can be implemented operationally.
My role in gathering the required data for this year’s submission for the Times Higher Education Impact Award was also a hugely rewarding project to work on. It involved me working across vast sectors of the University, seeking out data used as evidence for how the University is tackling the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It was a hugely striking insight into the broad — and fascinatingly specific — areas of what goes on behind the scenes to create a such a far-reaching sustainable impact at the University.
I have relished the opportunity to be a member of such a forward-thinking sector of the University, and the chance to provide insight as a recent graduate is something that enabled me to contribute to team discussions on a range of issues, from student engagement, stakeholder engagement, and even strategic direction of the team.
This year has instilled in me the sense that whatever career go on to pursue, sustainability has to be at the forefront; I have worked with countless of inspiring people across the University, and if anything, working within the Sustainability Service has demonstrated the importance of sustainability as an embedded component of how we all operate, in whatever field that may be – and wherever I end up!
Want to find out what it’s like to be a Sustainability Architect? Last years’ cohort share their thoughts and experiences with us as their year drew to a close.
Rachel DeCordoba – Conference and Curriculum
Wow, where did the year go? It’s hard to believe that my time as an Architect is already coming to a close, but it’s been a great experience, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.
As a major highlight, the fourth annual Student Sustainability Research Conference proved to be a success. After helping to prepare for event, it was inspiring to see students present original research from so many different programmes and backgrounds, truly proving that sustainability is a multidisciplinary concept. Students worked to intentionally link their research with the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well, demonstrating how different research topics can be connected to larger common goals. From viewing posters to attending presentations to experiencing interactive exhibits, I agree with conference attendees’ feedback that the day was both educational and enjoyable. I learned so much!
I also spent time this year working on how to integrate sustainability into the larger university curriculum and opportunities for research, including researching best practices from other universities around the world. Very quickly, it became apparent just how much of a leader the University of Leeds is in this field, from developing an auditing tool to link existing modules to Sustainable Development Goals, to compiling a comprehensive list of past dissertations relating to sustainability. Having such a large community at this university both amplifies opportunities for spreading the word about sustainability research and curriculum, but can also pose a challenging question for how best to reach students and staff. It’s my hope and prediction that with a combination of robust online resources and the further development of relationships between and within departments, students will gain a greater understanding of opportunities for sustainable research, and staff will utilise resources to implement sustainable aspects in their curricula.
I’m so thankful to have been a part of this team, who has been so flexible with virtual and remote working during this pandemic (from different continents, no less!). While I’m sad that my one year at the university is nearly over, I look forward to watching future Architects and the Sustainability team continue with these exciting campaigns. This year’s experience has reinforced the idea that we need people from all disciplines to truly realise a sustainable world, and I look forward to seeing what comes next!
Fern Spencer – Food Carbon Footprinting
My year as a Sustainability Architect has really flown by. I’ve been working with catering services on campus to research and communicate the carbon footprint of food, which has been a great experience to end my degree on.
Interestingly, not much has been done in catering venues globally to educate customers on the carbon footprint of the food they’re eating. This has come as a surprise to me, considering the amount of attention ‘low carbon’ diets have achieved in recent years. Information on the high carbon content of animal products, such as beef, has been pulsated throughout social media, the news and in international climate change agendas. As a result, there has been a massive surge in the demand for plant based food, as people alter their diets.
As a Student Sustainability Architect, I’ve been given the freedom to explore this myself and determine how best to educate customers of the Refectory (students, staff and members of the public) about the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with their food choices. This has involved using the TUCO tool, a carbon accounting tool specially developed for large catering organisations, to calculate the carbon footprint of meals in the Refectory.
The Refectory has been forward thinking in increasing the availability and range of their plant based food options, including the introduction of the vegan deli bar. This year, I have collaborated with marketing teams to develop a strategy to communicate this carbon footprint. It was important that the strategy used would be effective at informing customers which foods were comparatively better and worse for the environment. This would allow them to make an informed decision on their food choices and hopefully encourage the consumption of lower carbon foods. Given the unprecedented global covid-19 crisis we find ourselves in, adaptations are being made and this will likely be incorporated into the Refectory website for new students starting in September.
During the year, I showcased my research at the annual University of Leeds Student Sustainability conference and networked with many talented individuals who are also pursuing interests in sustainability.
I’m extremely grateful for the freedom and support given to me by the sustainability team, and my mentor Ian, whilst completing the project. This was the perfect opportunity to put my knowledge and skills into practice, learn from others and gain confidence in the sustainability sector. So thank you for the opportunity! I look forward to seeing what future architects implement.
The last few months have been a great learning experience for me working as a student architect with the cleaning services. Initially, it was a steep learning curve. I had to quickly and effectively understand the departments’ needs and challenges. From there, we decided that the reduction of bin liners was the main priority which directly supported the universities wider goal of achieving a plastic-free campus by 2023. The months that followed were filled with trying to find alternative materials for bin liners and to understand their respective environmental benefits. With the effects of Covid-19, I was not able to take the next step and implement the trail bags nor do a full LCA (life cycle analysis) on them. That said, the key takeaways from this experience will last with me for years to come and I’d like to share my top 3 with you.
1 – Be open to change and communicate well – understanding that as a researcher or consultant the need to check in with your clients’ needs should be number one on the agenda. Be willing to communicate over the course of the project as well as open to changing your ideas to fulfil the needs. You don’t want to end up with a great idea that’s not solving your defined problem.
2 – Sustainability is not an easy choice – for many of us in this field, we’ve come to understand the various tradeoffs sustainability brings. In order to make the best decision, in this scenario, a full life cycle analysis should also be taken. This will then lead to a clearer understanding of what the impacts are from switching to an alternative material besides plastic. Although initially, it may sound like an alternative bin liner is the best decision, the specific details regarding its composition, weight, performance, end of life also play a critical role.
3 – Learn from the wider community – I found it most effective when I shared my research and findings with the wider sustainable architect team as well as the wider University during the sustainability conference. It was during these times, I received valuable feedback and criticism to then take back to the drawing board. By sharing your research, other opportunities may arise and lead to collaborative working opportunities.
Camila Limberg Dias
My name is Camila, I am an Msc. Sustainability and Consultancy student. I finish my work as a Sustainability Architect with an award “in hands” and with the feeling of mission accomplished. The mission to reduce single-use plastics in laboratories is already challenging, and together with the difficulties caused by COVID-19 and the lockdown, deeply affected much of the work. But the progress made during the last months brought me, and the other colleagues involved, many learnings and a great foundation to keep fighting plastics in labs.
I was able to first work with the Protein Production Facility, mapping the consumption of plastics and the willingness to change behaviour from its users. This process showed us the challenges go beyond the lab facilities and its users, but involve the processes, the suppliers, the materials available, health and safety and other aspects. A coordinated action, bringing together researchers, lab technicians, purchasing team, health and safety team and cleaning staff will definitely escalate the various changes that can be done to reduce the use of single-use plastics, reuse them when possible and recycle more.
The more detailed understanding of this challenge is the first step and the baton I pass for the next sustainability architect to spread such measures to other labs and generate a bigger impact for the University to comply with the pledge.
I would like to specially thank Laura Hewitt (Lab technician at the Protein Production Facility) for the great ongoing work as a sustainability architect from staff and great supoort. Also, I would like to thank to the whole sustainability team for the opportunity of experiencing this and leave a legacy to the university.
Thank you Leeds Sustainability Team!
Karolina Zarzyczny Biodiversity Action Planning
As a Student Sustainability Architect, I have spent most of this year working with the Residential Services to develop site-specific, Biodiversity Action Plan Recommendations. Biodiversity provides the foundation for ecosystem services required for human wellbeing. As the UK’s biodiversity is under threat, it is crucial to enhance biodiversity and maximise wildlife opportunities; especially in urban environments.
Over the course of this academic year (2019-2020) I conducted habitat surveys across six off-campus residences; North Hill Road Residences, North Hill Court, Montague Burton, St Mark’s Residence, Sentinel Towers and Central Village. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to apply my fieldwork skills gained during my Zoology degree to the “real world”. Using ArcGIS and QGIS, I then was able to create site-specific habitat maps which allow us to easily visualise the current habitats present. Moreover, the maps can be used to estimate the biodiversity value of each site by scoring it based on the quality and area size of the habitats present. This is important when trying to maximise wildlife opportunities across the residences. I was then able to use the maps and notes from the surveys to develop site-specific recommendations aiming to either enhance the biodiversity value of the site or to enhance the opportunities available for the residents, staff and visitors to engage with local wildlife and nature. My work has been shared with senior and site managers and hopefully when the time is right, the recommendations will be gradually implemented!
I was hoping to spend the spring months conducting wildlife surveys and workshops with the residents, but due to the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic, this wasn’t possible. Hopefully, the next student architect will be able to bring some of those ideas to life!
Despite the challenges faced by everyone in the second semester, working as a Student Sustainability Architect has been a fantastic experience. I was not only able to apply a lot of the skills and knowledge gained during my degree, to the real world, but I also learnt a lot. I have gained a lot of knowledge into selecting wildlife friendly plants for various environmental conditions, and I also had the opportunity to attend skills-based workshops such as a Marketing and Communications training session. So, thank you for this opportunity and if you are a university student looking for a part-time role in sustainability, I cannot recommend this position enough!
Whether you’re based at University accommodation, your student house in Leeds, temporary accommodation or your family home, we all need ways to stay entertained, motivated and feeling good. Our top feel-good isolation tips will provide you with some ways to keep your body moving, your brain ticking and your soul uplifted at this strange time.
1. Clear out your wardrobe
There is no better time to get round to giving your wardrobe the big clear out you meant to do last year. Rediscover your old favourite items, and pull out the ones you no longer need and bag them up ready to drop off at your local charity shop and donation bank once they resume their operations for some second-hand-lovin’.
2. Dance it out!
Turn on the music and dance like no-one is watching – because they really won’t be! Remember to use headphones when listening to music to avoid annoying your housemates and neighbours who may be working!
3. Scrapbook some of your favourite memories
Scrap booking some of your favourite photos from the past year is a great way to remind yourself of life before lock-down! Find inspiration online, and create a book of memories that make you excited for revisiting your favourite places.
4. Get creative!
Give yourself some creative therapy with whatever you have in the house! Whether it’s knitting, painting, or simply drawing your view from your window, channel your inner creativity and produce something to mark this strange time.
5. Learn to cook
We may be in isolation, but we still have to eat! Why not use this time to perfect a few store-cupboard staple recipes? With less choice available, it’s the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen and work with what you’ve got.
6. Call your extended family members
This can be a strange and confusing time, for the elderly in particular. Getting in touch with your extended family would probably mean the world to them.
7. Do some uni work
Sorry, we had to say it. Make sure you make the most of all the online resources being provided by your school and faculty. (University attendance in your pyjamas is now acceptable)
8. Learn a new skill with LinkedIn Learning
From courses in Photoshop to Excel, remote working to creative thinking, LinkedIn Learning offers a huge variety of free taught online courses for University of Leeds staff and students.
Now Spring has officially sprung, get the duster out and give the house a big clean. A tidy space means a tidy mind, and feeling settled and calm in your own space is essential for your wellbeing during the period of
That’s it from us! From online work outs, learning courses, and video calling sites, online resources have really stepped up to provide us with some great ways of managing this strange and confusing time. If you feel that you need further support, head over to the University’s wellbeing safety and health website.
Looking for an opportunity to showcase your talent?
Wanting to develop your creativity and artistic skills?
APPLY NOW for our “Colour Hyde Park” – Mural Design Competition!
The University of Leeds is calling again on all budding artists, students, schools and community groups to submit their designs to this year’s “Colour Hyde Park” Mural Design Competition.
Our project aims to improve the visual appearance of the area and celebrate the spirit and diversity of the community through the creation of multiple artistic murals around Hyde Park. We are working with residents and organisations in the area to ensure our project reflects and celebrates the community of Hyde Park.
For our Mural Design Competition, we are looking for mural designs that reflect the Hyde Park community and why it’s a great place to live, work and study. We welcome designs from individuals or community groups; such as voluntary and residents groups, schools and religious centres. Chosen artists will paint their design in Hyde Park with our support.
Successful applicants will receive a materials budget and prominent location in Hyde Park to create a street mural based on their designs, £100 Fred Aldous voucher and promotion of their artwork and their background in a mural map leaflet and University communications campaigns and events.
Do you want to gain experience relevant to a career in sustainability whilst using your data analysis skills to combat the climate crisis in the local area?
Tim is a local resident, owner of independent café Coffee on the Crescent (@coffeepilgrimuk) and a former University of Leeds Geography student. He is taking urgent action to combat the climate crisis by making a positive sustainable impact on the consumption and waste management practices of businesses and residences in Hyde Park Crescent, the area in which his café is based. Tim hopes to demonstrate how changes in waste management practices can help the City to meet its climate objectives whilst working in partnership with local businesses to implement findings.
Tim is looking to work with a University of Leeds student for up to 100 hours on this project and objectives will include:
Research the waste requirements of the businesses on Hyde Park Crescent; this will include data collection and analysis of results from each business;
Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of options which promote more sustainable waste disposal options;
Investigate the ways in which changes in waste collection process can lead to an improvement of the external communal areas within the Crescent; and
Demonstrate ways in which changes in waste management can help to meet City climate objectives on resource efficiency and single-use plastic reduction, implementing learnings of the University’s #2023PlasticFree programme.
Previous experience of undertaking cost-benefit analyses along with data analysis skills would be beneficial.
To find out more and to apply, send a copy of your CV along with a one-page covering letter explaining why you are interested in the role to Kelly Forster(email@example.com) with the subject ‘Coffee on the Crescent’.